Ella's kitchen The Purple One Book Review!

A little while ago you may have seen that we were lucky enough to have tried a couple of the recipes from an Ella's kitchen recipe book (if you haven't seen it then check it out here). About a week ago we had the book sent through itself and I felt the need to blog about it as it is bloody brilliant!!

The First Foods Book from Ella's kitchen (the purple one) covers all stages of weaning, from first tastes all the way up to meals for toddlers and yummy finger food for older babies. The first thing that really struck me with the recipes in this book was the fact that all the ingredients needed were ''normal'' things. By that, I mean that the recipes were calling for things that I would have in my cupboards like ground all spice and curry powder rather than some books that I have used which call for things that I wouldn't even be sure where to buy!! The other element of the book that I also really loved was the introduction pages at the start of each stage of weaning which went through things like what foods the baby can start to try, how much on average they should be eating and other useful hints and tips for that stage. This is accompanied by a really helpful weaning chart that you can stick up on your fridge or wall as a quick weaning reference when your cooking. The chart also includes a really nice sections where you can record all of you babies weaning milestones and food preferences.

The recipes themselves are gorgeous. There is such a varied mix from basic fruit and veg purees to curries, pies and pastas, just to name a few. It felt to me like the recipes in this book were a lot more up to date than some books I've used recently with flavours and meals that me and Hubby would also very happily eat.

So far, I've used two recipes from the book and they have both turned out to be great successes. After browsing the finger food sections for some snack ideas for Bubs, I decided on making him some of the 'Really Raisin-y Soda Bread' as he loves fruit bread and I thought this may be a great home made alternative. It was so easy to bake with simple, fool proof instructions and after 30 mins out it came from the oven and onto Bubba's plate (after cooling first obviously!!) and he loved it!!! He also enjoyed helping me by wearing mixing bowls on his head!! haha!! I really loved the fact that I knew exactly what had gone into his snack and that there was no junk in there. Just good, old fashioned baking stuff and lot's and lot's of raisins.

I also cooked Bubba the Groovy Greens & Beef Noodles which I was a little skeptical about giving him as it had a lot of flavors and tastes in that he hadn't had before such as ginger and soy sauce. The recipe is also a lot more textured than Bubba normally has but I him to try it as I want him
to start getting used new flavours and chunkier food. This dish was a huge success (although his face in the picture says the total opposite) and it was so yummy that even Hubby said he would have eaten it and he is a super fussy eater.

I can honestly say that I am excited about cooking so many more dishes from this book and am also really looking forward to cooking and preparing a lot more of the finger foods ideas as snacks for Bubba as he has just enter a new stage of ''snacking'' which is totally new territory to me.

The First Foods Book from Ella's Kitchen retails for £14.99 which, in my opinion, is total value for money as this book will last us way into the toddler years.
Visit Ella's Kitchen on their website here to see their full range of Cook Books.

I was sent this book free of charge for review purposes but rest assured that all opinions on this blog are honest and my own. 


Growing up..Sunday Picture

''Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up''
Bjarne Reuter.


Whats in my changing bag....

This is a post that has been requested quite a bit in recent months and now it is finally here...what is in my changing bag!
NOTE: None of this is a sponsored post and all items that I mention in this post including the bag itself are 100% what we use and what we have brought.

So firstly, the bag itself. Now, when I was pregnant and looking at buying a changing bag I kept on saying how I didn't want to spend loads of money on it as it is 'only a bag' but then I came across the Pacapod range one day and fell in love. We got the Pacapod Mirano as I thought the colour would suit a baby boy and also wouldn't make hubby feel too silly if he was carrying it. The bag is totally wipe clean and comes with a front pocket (great for your phone) and an internal zip pocket which I tend to keep dummies and medicine in. The best part of this bag though is the pods! The Mirano comes with a feeding pod and a changing pod which both attach inside the bag via a Velcro loop in their own separate compartment. The compartment is so easy to access and unzips all the way around to expose both the pods which is great when you are out and about and need to quickly grab a snack or juice for little one. The pods come out of the bag which is the other element I love. This means that when you baby needs changing you don't have to take the whole bag with you, you can just take the pod. The pods themselves have so many perks as well. The food pouch is all wipe clean inside and insulated and the changing pod has 4 different compartments that are all labeled for easy storage an access of all the additional changing bits you need like cream and hand gel. I LOVE this bag and am so glad that we brought it (well to be fair it was a gift from my wonderful grandparents) and I honestly believe it is well worth the money!! I always wanted to try a pink lining bag as they were raved about when I was pregnant but I struggled to find a bag that would not bag Hubby feel silly carrying it. I live in hope that pink lining will one day start selling a bag less Mummy orientated and more for both mummy and daddy.

Now, onto what I keep in the pods.. So first, we have the food pod. Now obviously, if we are going out for lunch I will add Bubba's lunch to this and his bottles and milk etc but this is the standard stuff that I keep in the bag at all times. Its a bit like my emergency stash as I always like to be prepared! In this pod I have:

  • 3 spoons as you never know when you will need a spoon!
  • A bottle of ready made Cow and Gate Follow on 2 just in case we ever get caught out with out the water and milk powder that we normally use at home.
  • Ella's kitchen smoothie and Ella's kitchen Chicken and rice casserole. These once again are emergency supplies just in case we ever got caught out somewhere and I didn't have Bubba's food with me or didn't have access to buy him anything..plus these are super scrummy!!
  • Ella's kitchen Puffits. Same as above really but just as a little snack just in case.
  • An Ikea bag tie thing (don't know what you actually call them) to re seal any bags of crisps or snacks we may open
  • Bubba's Chillipeeps 3 in 1 spout. This is a MUST have! It just means that if we ever left the house without his bottles or a cup, I can attach this straight onto the bottle and hey presto..Bubba has milk! It is brilliant!! (oh...shameless plug here too....I am a chillipeeps champion now as I rave about their products so much and if you fancy getting your bubba some chillipeeps then they have kindly given all of my readers a 10% discount if you use the code MYMUMMYSPAM when checking out on www.chillipeeps.com)
So, that's the food pod. In the changing pod I have the following:

  • Aldi Nappies (why would I use anything else?!?)
  • Some huggies sensitive wipes..only as I am out of Aldi ones and need to use these up otherwise it would be Aldi all the way!
  • some hand santiser
  • Nappy sacks
  • A tiny tube of Metanium which I think is a sample size but its perfect for keeping in my bag. 
  • A waterproof bag which at the moment has a change of clothes in with but what I love about this is that if Bubs has an accident and needs to be changed then the dirty clothes just pop straight into this bag to stop anything else getting dirty then all goes in the wash when we get home.

The bag also comes with a changing mat which I keep in a pocket at the front of the zip up flap. These pods then pop into the bag like so:

One part of this bag that I love is that you can remove the pods and attach them to your pram handles to them give you more room in the bag itself if you need it. 
Now onto what I actually have in the main bulk of my bag...bear with me as you can fit quite a bit in...
  • Toys - a must have for me at the moment as Bubba is into everything! I tend to keep his Sophie in there to chew on, some other little teether, a couple of rattly noisy toys and his mickey as his little comforter if we are out. I try not to take his favorite toys out as I always worry about his throwing them out and loosing them. 
  • Bubbas red book - this may be a little too much but as I have said previously, I am a worrier and like to know I am prepared. I keep his book in the bag so that if anything every happened to me then someone could look in it and get Hubbys number or Bubba's details to help us. 
  • Shoes - I don't tend to put Bubba in his shoes all the time as I am conscious that I want his feet to grow naturally but he does like to be able to walk around (holding our hands) sometimes so I always keep this to hand so we can pop them on if he wants to go for a wander.
  • Sun cream - no brainer really. factor 50+, baby and sensitive skin sun cream. 
  • Sun hat - once again...no brainer at the moment.
  • Rain jacket - with the weather the way it is I always keep this little jacket in my bag. I picked it up at the Aldi Baby event and folds up tiny so I can keep it in the bag just in case!
  • Dribble bibs - these are from Funky Giraffe as they are the only bibs we use anymore as they are so bloody brilliant!!!! Bubba is a super dribbley baby and with his teeth popping through at the moment too you can imagine why we have these to hand at all times!
  • Dummies - Bubba only tends to have a dummy if hes tired now but I always keep a pair in here for emergencies.
  • Calpol, calpofen, teething granules and bonjela - All pretty self explanatory really. I just keep a couple of sachets of each in the bag in case we need them as you never know when teething will attack!!!
So thats everything! It seems like such a lot when I sit and write it all down but its really not when you think about what we use from it. I also don't expect his changing bag to stay like this very long as it always seems to be changing as he gets older. I said to Hubs the other day 'Can you remember when this pod used to be filled with bottles and milk and now its filled with snacks and juice?!'. Its crazy!!
Is there anything that you have in your bag that you think I have missed or could need? Let me know in the comments below! :)

ALSO....This is my entry for the #itsinthebagbaby to be a brand ambassador for Pink Lining UK! If you like this post and think they should ''pick me'' me then go say hi and tweet them at @PinkliningUK 


To my 10 month old...

To our wonderful little boy,

Your 10 months old today! I can't quite believe that it was 10 months to the day that you came into our lives and turned them upside down..all for the better of course!

Your turning into such a funny, cheeky, happy little boy and everyone that meets you always remarks on how smiley and happy you are as whenever you see someone you give them your funny sucked in bottom lip grin. It makes you look soooo cheeky but I love it.

Development wise you are coming on leaps and bounds and its actually a little scary to see just how quickly you are growing up. You seem to have suddenly turned into less of a baby and more of a little dude almost over night. Your now crawling and you are so so fast! To start with you couldn't really get the hang of it and you kept getting your leg stuck underneath you but now your going there is really no stopping you. If your playing in the lounge and I'm in the kitchen, I know your coming as I hear your little hands pit pattering across the floor. To be honest I am surprised that your crawling as I really thought you would walk first. In saying that, your still desperate to walk and your getting so good at it. You crawl over to the sofa (or anything you can pull yourself up with, even the wall) and pull yourself up and start side stepping like a little crab. You give me (and Nanny and Daddy and anyone who is watching) heart attacks though as you tend to try to let go and do 'no hands' whilst looking very proud of yourself :) You can also walk holding onto to just one of mine or daddy's hands now but your very wobbly. I don't think it will be long until your off toddling around on your own and then the fun will really start!

Talking about fun, this whole crawling thing has brought with it a whole load of new fun things for me and Daddy to worry about. You love nothing more than trying to explore what is around you. You try to open every cupboard and draw it the kitchen and constantly pick up any little crumb or spec of dirt you find on the floor which is a good thing in a way as its giving me a great intensive to keep the house clean. Daddy fitted lots of draw locks and cupboard locks as well to stop you for getting any of the things that could hurt you out. I have to have eyes in the back of my head now as if I'm not keeping an eye on you then you are off making mischief :) We wouldn't have it any other way though.

Your still eating really well and love feeding yourself now. You love cherry tomatoes, grapes, bread sticks and yogurts. I had you weighed about a week ago and you were 22 lbs 10 oz which is just where you should be so your doing so well. You've started to drink less and less milk now as I think you are starting to learn that there is more to your belly than milk and you love it!!

Sleeping is still going well, You tend to sleep through the night most of the time although I think your teeth have been playing you up a little bit recently as we had a few days where you just kept crying every hour and Daddy ended up sleeping on your bedroom floor to keep comforting you and popping your dummy back in for you. Your first little tooth is just starting to pop through which must be so hard for you but your dealing with it so much better than I thought you would. It is literally there just under your gum waiting to come through and I just wish it would pop through and stop causing you pain as we know it hurts. Hopefully soon we will be taking pictures with a toothy little grin :)

There are only 2 more months until your 1 years old and I can't quite get my head around that fact...1 years old!!!! That is madness to me. But before then we have lot's of fun things to look forward to like our first family trip away at the end of July, your first trip to the zoo coming up and I'm sure lot's of fun things that we don't even know about yet.

You may only be 10 months old but me and Daddy are already so proud of you and love you so so so much even when you are being our cheeky pickle face :)

Love you forever



Am I normal??

This is a question that I have asked hubby at least 4 times in the past week and before any of my friends or family start chirping up, yes I know I'm not "normal" :) but I'm asking am I a normal Mum? 

Recently there has been a lot of talk among my friends and in the blog and Twitter sphere about returning to work (if you haven't seen already, Al from the dads network's wife write a beautiful guest post over on his blog a few days ago..take a read here) and it got me thinking. The opinion that all of these lovely women shared was that they were devastated to be going back. One of my friends said how she burst into tears when she finally got to pick up her little cherub and another was saying how even the thought of going back to work soon filled her with dread and sadness. I wrote about how I felt about becoming a working mum but this was different. I just had this question running round and round my head... am I normal?

I've been back at work now for almost 1 month now and before I went back I was fine. I wasn't worried about bubs, wasn't upset about leaving him and didn't shed a single tear! I am now left wondering why didn't I feel like everyone else did? Don't get me wrong, I knew that I would miss bubba and I do miss him when I'm at work but I focused on the positives. I was really looking forward to going to being Ami for a couple of days a week and having conversations with people that didn't involve poop or weaning. I was excited about the thought of being able to drink a hot cup of coffee and eat my lunch without little hands trying to steal it away. Writing it down in black and white, it almost sounds selfish saying these things because I love those little hands that steal my sandwich and I would give up a hot coffee for a bubba snuggle any day of the week. It may be selfish, I don't know. Suppose it's down to personal opinion. 

But now, after being back and settling into our new routine I honestly believe that I am a better Mum to bubba for going back I work (not saying that I am better than a stay at home mums or any other mum but I'm talking about me personally) as I appreciate the time I spend with Bubba so much more now and really do relish in every single moment we share. And I think, to answer my own question.. No, it may not be normal that I didn't get upset over going back to work but do you know what? That's what happened and that's how it goes. I think I had really just drummed it into my head that I was going back and that was that so there was no point crying over it as what was that going to do? 

So for now, I will just live with the fact that I don't feel normal for not getting upset and will continue to offer support to solo u lovely mummies out there that are feeling wobbly about going back to work :) you can do it and your Bubba will love you no less for it. 


Wicked Uncle Review..

At my Bubs house she has these little toy eggs with lids that squeak and come in a little egg box and Bubba loves them!! He is easily entertained with them for a good 15 mins which for him is pretty damn good. I came across a version of them on a website called Wicked Uncle and was offered the chance to review them and their service and I was super excited!

Wicked Uncle (meant to be wicked as in cool rather than wicked as in witch!) has an aim to make it as easy as possible to find toys for boys and girls of all ages for birthdays, Christmas or just because :) They offer to gift wrap the toys, send them direct to the child with a handwritten birthday card and will even send you a reminder the next year to avoid any awkward moments. The part of the service that I really love and that really stands out to me is that if you end up buying to wrong thing or they already have that toy then you can return the product to Wicked Uncle and they will give you credit or replace it with something else. BRILLIANT!

The website itself is so easy to navigate and all of the toys are split into age range so you can easily find suggestions for gifts and toys. The range of toys available is so extensive that they have a gift to suit every price range which I also love! Wicked Uncles aim is to basically become the best E-commerce toy shop on the net and they are ticking all the boxes for me!

The toys themselves are a fantastic price whilst being such good quality! We were sent the following:

Hide 'n' Shake Hunny Pots - Winnie the Pooh: £12.95
Bubba loves these! They are basically what they sat on the tin. Little egg shaped pits with different Winnie the pooh characters inside that rattle when they are shaken. The come inside a little egg box which Bubba loves playing with sometimes more that the pots themselves :)

Create & Play Pattern Blocks - £17.95
These are so great. I love the simplicity of them but they have already provided hours of entertainment to Bubs. He loves it when we build a tower and then he deconstructs it brick by brick. The blocks are sturdy whilst not being so heavy that Bubba can't pick them up and play with them. 

Farm Touch & Feel Puzzle - £8.95
This took me back to my childhood! It is one of those toys that are timeless as it is so simple. This puzzle with different texture on the puzzle pieces is a little too old for Bubba right now so he's not too interested but as it's the kind of toy that won't age I am keeping it to one side for when he is old enough to play with it rather than just bash the puzzle pieces together!

Delivery from Wicked Uncle was fantastic with the toys being delivered in a couple of days addressed to Bubba and coming with a wonderful little thank you post card with the original senders address on which would be lovely to send back from the child if these were birthday gifts. 

Overall, the whole process with Wicked Uncle was brilliant! From how easy it is to navigate around their website and make a purchase to delivery and the fantastic toy quality, I can't recommend them enough! To visit their website click here: http://www.wickeduncle.co.uk/



The most amazing cup..

The title of this sounds really boring I know as how can a cup be exciting but if your a Mummy that finds baby and toddler stuff exciting then read on.... :)

So a little while ago I was contacted by a company called OXO (no not the gravy people, although I will admit, this was my first thought too!) asking me to review their toddler cup from their OXO tots range. OXO was created in 1990 by Sam Farber, an entrepreneur in the homeware industry who wanted to create a range of comfortable kitchen tools that could be used by everyone. They then introduced the OXO tot range with the aim of making feeding little ones a little bit easier and a lot more fun and after using their sippy cup I would give them a high five as I think they have achieved this!

This cup, in my opinion, is no normal sippy cup. One first looks, yes it looks like one. It has the soft, non slip handles that are curved to help little hands hold on to it. It has the traditional sippy cup lid with an additional leak proof valve which can be inserted and removed to give either a controlled or free flow and its dishwasher safe, BPA, PVC and Phthalate free which are all fantastic features but in my opinion, not unique or game changing.

What is game changing though is the other features that also come with this cup. Firstly, you can remove the handles which leave you with a proper cup shaped cup (if that even makes sense!) with 2 little soft grip sections to help little hands hold on when learning how to hold a cup without handles. Secondly (and my most favorite thing about this cup) is the training cup lid which has a transparent insert in it with little holes all the way round the outside to let your child learn to drink out of a cup with out the risk that they will chuck the whole thing over their head or face! I love this feature as Bubs loves to drink out of grown up cups but doesn't understand that if he tips it too much the water goes all over his face and he ends up in a bit of a state after attempting to drown himself via cup! Due to the little holes around the insert it means that when they tip the cup there is enough liquid coming out to for the child to understand that they tip it to drink but not so much that they end up looking like that have been dunked in a bath! ANDDDD it gets even better...once you child has mastered the art of drinking from the cup with the insert in, you can remove it so you are left with a regular grown up cup. AMAZING!

The only downside with this cup..and it pains me to say there is a downside as I honestly love the thought that has gone into this product..is that is doesn't cup with a lid whilst it is being used as a sippy cup. It is fine if you have the non spill valve in but Bubs doesn't drink it with that in and only drinks out of free flowing cups which means that this cup can't come out and about with us as it spills in the bag.

Apart from the minor thing, this cup is brilliant. It adapts and changes as your baby grows and has features which to me, makes in stand out in a busy sippy cup market.
To purchase your own sippy cup (RRP of £10.20 which to me is a bloody bargain for a cup that will last this long) or to see the range of OXO tot goodies then click here!